by Asif Sankar
Most of us have suffered the distress of trying to get a motor claim settled. Delays may occur when a person is not aware of the process involved following a motor accident. To assist we provide an outline of the procedure for an automobile claim:
Own Damage Claims
Notify your broker or insurer of the accident and complete the motor claim form. The claim form provides information on the parties involved in the accident, the vehicles, witnesses, Police Station where the accident was reported and gives a brief description of theaccident.
Obtain an estimate for repairs from a garage. Most insurers have their preferred garages, however the insured has the right to choose their own repairer, although the insurer may also request an estimate from their chosen garage.
The Insurer appoints an Adjuster, who inspects the vehicle and prepares a report. The Adjuster’s Report will contain the following information:
the general condition and market value of the vehicle.
whether damaged parts are repairable or must be replaced
depreciation and contribution on parts due to the age and condition of the vehicle
whether labour costs are reasonably stated or warrants adjustment
prices of parts and discounts available from dealer.
If liability is in question the insurer requests either a detailed investigation or police report.
The investigation or police report would identify the parties involved, circumstances surrounding the accident, facts reported and police findings including coding, damages and injuries to the parties, witnesses and the conclusion of liability (Insured at fault or not at fault or contributory negligence).
The insurer negotiates the claim settlement with you or your broker, based on the loss adjuster’s and/or police report. The insurer can either offer cash settlement or issue a purchase order for parts and authorizes repairs.
If investigation proves that you are not at fault or if there is contributory negligence, the insurer proceeds to subrogate against the third party’s insurer (recovery of repair costs and loss of use).
Theft Claims Procedure
Notify your broker or insurer of the accident and complete the motor claim form. The claim form will give details of the theft, including police station where reported, the location of the vehicle where was stolen and the time of discovery.
The insurer may require an affidavit – sworn declaration of that the insurance certificate was in the stolen vehicle.
The insurer appoints an investigator to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the theft – facts reported to and findings of the police, witnesses and the conclusion of liability.
The insurer usually waits at least 30 days to settle the claim if the vehicle is not recovered.
Before settlement is made, you will be required to sign transfer of ownership forms, provide all keys to the vehicle, original certified extract of ownership and original motor certificate of insurance should the vehicle be later recovered.
Windscreen Claims Procedure
The insured notifies the insurer of claim and completes the claim form.
Obtains an estimate or quotation for the replacement windscreen.
The insurer inspects the vehicle to determine the nature and extent of the damage.
The insurer issues a purchase/repair order up to the policy limit.
Knowing your role in a motor claim can influence the speed with which the matter is resolved.
Spoke to your broker and agent to understand your part as well as your options. It is to your advantage to do so.